Mada Masr

Mada Masr (Arabic: مدى مصر) is an independent Egyptian online newspaper, founded in June 2013 by former journalists of the English-language newspaper Egypt Independent following the shutting down of its editorial operations in April 2013.[1]

Mada Masr
مدى مصر
Independent, progressive journalism
FormatOnline newspaper
FoundedJune 30, 2013 (2013-06-30)
Political alignmentLeft-wing
LanguageArabic and English
WebsiteOfficial website


Egypt Independent was a weekly, 24-page English-language newspaper that had evolved from the English web edition of the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. Its first edition was published on 24 November 2011.[2]

In December 2011, the second edition of the newspaper was prevented from being printed, following internal censorship of an article[3] written by political scientist Robert Springborg which was critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.[4]

In April 2013, the editorial team was informed by the management of Al-Masry Media Corporation that their print and online news operation will be shut down.[5] The editorial team decided to put together a closing edition, which would have been published on 25 April, "to explain the conditions under which a strong voice of independent and progressive journalism in Egypt is being terminated".[5] However, the management decided in the last minute to withhold the printing of the final edition, so the editorial team decided to publish it online.[5][6]

The online edition of Egypt Independent was re-launched later that year.

Founding of Mada Masr

On 30 June 2013, Mada Masr published its first issue.[7][8]

In the first article published, the editorial team described the planning process for the launch: "We decided we want to publish in Arabic as well as English, that we want to see more data-based reports, more investigative journalism. We want to experiment with different ways of storytelling. And very importantly, develop a business model and deploy a visionary commercial team that helps make our work sustainable."[7]

The article also described how the editorial team arrived at the name: "It needed a name. An Arabic name that was easy to say in English, but one that also reflected our practice of independent, progressive journalism. After a long process, we came to Mada. It is the Arabic word for range, scope or span, but it's also the spot where a stone is placed on a ring, a symbol of taking a position."[7]

The article concluded with: "Today Mada Masr is born amid many challenges and uncertainties. But it's also born out of inevitability. It is the inevitability of rebuilding a home for our team and our practice, the inevitability of a different form of journalism, the inevitability of experimentation and adventure as the only gateway for our imagination to strive."[7]

Since then, Mada Masr published a number of articles on different topics such as politics, economy, environment, culture and lifestyle, and some of their articles on current affairs in Egypt were referenced by international news media.[9] As an example, an article by Sarah Carr about the political movement The Third Square[10] was quoted extensively in a New York Times blog article about the subject.[11]

Freedom of press in Egypt

In July 2013, an article by the Associated Press about media bias in Egypt following the military coup quoted Lina Atallah, editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, as saying that there was increased pressure on journalists to toe the line, pointing to the coverage of protester killings, which repeated the military's version of the violence. "What's scary about this time around in the media performance is that there is much more agenda-setting from above," she said.[12]

Mada Masr has been censored in Egypt since June 2017.[13]


  1. "America is no longer a force for stability in the Gulf". The Economist. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. "Time for something new". Egypt Independent. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  3. "Is Tantawi reading the public's pulse correctly?". Egypt Independent. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  4. "Time for an independent conversation". Egypt Independent. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  5. "Egypt Independent 2009-2013". Egypt Independent. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  6. "Egypt Independent's 50th and final print edition". Scribd. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  7. "And we're back ..." Mada Masr. 30 June 2013. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  8. "With Morsi Out, Uphill Battle for Independent Media Intensifies". Atlantic Council. 17 July 2013. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  9. "Top News: European Union Envoy Ashton Meets Morsi, Nears Deal to End Violence". Atlantic Council. 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  10. "'Third Square' protesters reject Morsi, army". Mada Masr. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  11. "Tahrir Taken, Some Egyptians Look for 'Third Square' to Resist Islamists and Army". New York Times. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  12. "Egypt's media embrace military after Morsi ouster". Associated Press. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  13. Malsin, Jared (July 18, 2018). "Throughout Middle East, the Web Is Being Walled Off". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018. “My first thought was, ‘Welcome to China,’” said a banker in Cairo, recalling his attempt to access Mada Masr, Egypt’s leading independent news organization, which has been blocked since June 2017.
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